Exercise Isn’t Just For Muscles

Week 2: Take Care of You; Body, Soul, Spirit Blog series

Most of the time when we think of exercising, we associate it with building muscles or losing weight. However, exercise has many more benefits than those two things! As you will find out below, exercise isn’t just for muscles…

Endorphins
When we exercise, certain chemicals are released in our bodies that make us feel super happy. These are called endorphins; and they are contributors to what is called “runner’s high.” Endorphins are the body’s special way of dealing with the physical toll that exercising has on the body. Another great side effect of exercising regularly is the improvement of brain health—so you can feel better overall all the time, and not just from endorphins! Regular exercise has been found to improve the symptoms of anxiety, depression, stress, and other mental/emotional health issues. Outside of the physical benefits, sometimes just going for a relaxing walk when you start to feel upset in any way can simply help you get your mind off the situation and re-center yourself.

Sleep
It has been scientifically proven that consistent exercise actually helps us get a better night’s sleep. Just thirty minutes at least of exercise each day can improve your sleep almost immediately! While the endorphins and good feelings we talked about above will make you feel awake and alert for a while; you’ve still exerted yourself in general by exercising at all… This means that your body will be that much more ready to rest when it’s time to sleep. Think of it like a sugar crash—without the sugar and side effects like headaches or stomachaches. Your body got really pumped from the exercise, but then it uses that to help you get a more satisfying and restful sleep!

Lymphatic System

We all know that exercise gets the heart working, and blood flowing. However, even when we don’t move at all, our heart still pumps. This is not so for our lymphatic system. Unlike the circulatory system, the lymphatic system doesn’t have an automatic pump to push the fluid through. It depends on our body movements to do its job! Your lymphatic system is responsible for helping filter out and remove any toxins and chemicals from your body. When you have a sedentary lifestyle, this means that all that junk pools throughout your lymph system like a clogged sewage system… This can lead to inflammation, pain, and can also compromise your immune system. By making sure you exercise each day, you are helping your body more efficiently flush out all the ick!

As you can see, exercise has several other positive outcomes other than building muscles and helping with weight loss. Challenge yourself to do something active for at least thirty minutes each day, and see how much it can improve your overall mental and physical health!

Here are some ideas to get you started:

Next week: Its All in Your Head- Attitude Matters

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